Tiny Brains on PlayStation 4 is about the experimental procedures of a scientist who has constructed some miniature and intelligent beings. This means players take the role of four test subjects each with their own powers. Every character is needed in their own way for solving the puzzles that this strange science experiment presents them with and they are color coded. When a session has less than four people playing players can swap between different characters at will. Each is color coded to help the player remember their power and in addition to voice chat players can communicate with each other by using the DualShock 4’s touch pad to point out areas they are trying to explain. The color coding also lights up differently on each controller based on which character the player currently has selected.
The stages in Tiny Brains start off very easy and quick serving as something of a tutorial for how to navigate in the game-world and seamlessly evolve into challenging stages that have very interesting and sometimes hilarious consequences. Players will participate in puzzles that sometimes focus on speed and skill while other times demand complete co-operation such as one stage that sees players kicking and pulling a ball uphill as the board changes, similar to something out of Marble Madness from the Nintendo NES days only this time two people are trying to control one ball together. The controls of the game work as expected, which is great because sometimes the precise actions of the player will make or break their success on a given puzzle.
Very careful attention has been paid to the way players come into the game. For example, once me and my partners accidentally ran underneath a ramp before it was lowered and I thought “oh, here we go, we are about to see the first glitch” since this was a newly released title and that detail may have been overlooked. I was pleasantly surprised to see that even minute points like this were perfectly remedied because we were automatically spawned to a playable area. That being said, the game is not always easy, but it is usually fun.
Early in the game players begin to experience survival waves which test their might and even more challenges are presented later on down the line. For example, one mid-way situation seen in Tiny Brains sees two players co-operating to light the gas and ignition for a stove-top burner (four or so to be precise) and burn up chickens that are attacking a target they must defend. The other two players must help direct the enemies onto these flammable platforms and all of this must be timed nicely with the onslaught of enemies being just too much to simply stomp them all out (another attack option players get). These types of segments and mini-games are a great relief from the puzzle sessions and keep it fun and interesting while still providing a challenge. After a few puzzles players get to divert their attention to something like this and then by the time it’s over feel ready for some more puzzling stages anyways, so the pace and flow of the title are pretty good in that respect.
Graphically the game is nothing to write home about. We feel saddened by the developers’ choice to place a crazy looking filter over the title which makes everything look a bit messy and washed out. When playing back the videos using the PS4’s Share Button (shared on Facebook in compressed HD), the graphics actually don’t have this filter. The filter looks like black squiggly lines up and down and was probably added as an artistic expression but comes off as really cheesy and does a disservice to what may be vibrant colors and sharp, anti-aliased character models hiding beneath there. A simple patch could probably remove this, but we’ll see.
Multiplayer Aspect: Tiny Brains supports 1-4 multiplayer for either local or online play. Players can join up with friends, shoot over invites to people on their friends list, and even experience matchmaking sessions open to the public.
Replay Value: Fair – With plenty of trophies and the ability to play this at home with friends and family, the replay value on this game is really not bad. The challenges can get a bit tedious over time though, so this isn’t something you’ll be playing forever. That being said, it’s well worth the asking price in terms of how many hours players can expect to get out of it.
Soundtrack, Audio, Voice: Fair – The audio in Tiny Brains PS4 did not take away from the gameplay but didn’t do much to add to it either. Overall it was forgettable, but this is not problematic to the overall experience.
To the detriment of this game some sections seem to be only passable with 3-4 players. Although this is not the case and these puzzles just become much more difficult with 1-2 players it can be frustrating to experience these moments when running through as a pair of brains the huge fun factor of the game slams into a brick wall and players must quit to try again later or find more people to help out whether they like it or not. Other than this issue of difficulty pacing, the developers of Tiny Brains have shown a mastery of pulling fun factor from the puzzle genre which can sometimes be like pulling teeth for other devs. Tiny Brains is an incredibly entertaining experience well worth its asking price and will give a lot of laughs while mixing up the puzzle action with survival waves and very creative gameplay elements. Tiny Brains gets an 8.5 out of 10 making it a Silver RGN Game.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: 505 Games
Available On: PS4 | PS3 | 360 | PC
Played On: Sony PlayStation 4
Review Copy Info: Four digital copies of this game were provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20131219 and was last modified on 20131219 .